Please suggest multi-use KTM/Husky dirt-bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by enewmen, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    Hi all.
    After many years of riding, I'm ready to get my first real dirt bike. Basically, I will do 1/3 mild MX, 1/3 single-track, and 1/3 double track and no racing, and no extreme rock-crawling.
    At first, I wanted a dual-sport like an EXC-F/ CRF450RL/ Beta RR-S. But after lots of reading, they seem too heavy for tight single-track and don't have the suspension needed for MX. But it is still possible. Anyway, I'll need at least 2 bikes.
    I narrowed it down to the KTM 300 XC TPI, 300 XC-W TPI, and 350 XC-F or Husty equivalents.
    I like the XC-W, with the speedometer and lights, but the bike seems more focused on trails rather than MX.
    The XC with muti-link rear and air forks should do better on MX tracks and the forks are adjustable for trails. I'll need the lights mods I want to ride at night.
    I'm open to 4T if the XC-F doesn't require a new top-end often like the EXC-F engines. I read some EXC-F top-ends can go over 1000 hours with a rebuild if the bikes are not abused. I think a modern 2T needs a 100+ hour top-end.

    Side note, I notice unlike adventure bikes, dirt bikes have very few guards. The engine and radiator seem protected without guards. Anything other than full hand-guards needed?

    Any suggestions? Thanks!
    #1
  2. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    The bike you want...doesn't exist.
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  3. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    I didn't think I was asking for much. Do you mean the KTMs XC/XC-W can't do mild MX? If so, which will be the most capable?
    Maybe it easier to ride a KTM SX on trails? Thanks.
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  4. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    MX and trail require very different suspension set up. Most MX bikes don't have provision for lights. Most trail/enduro bikes are a little heavy for MX.
    Gona be some compromises to wrap that all into one bike.
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  5. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    Yes, I expected some compromises since I'll try to have only 2 bikes (dirt & road) instead of 3(MX, trail, road). Since I expect to ride more on trails than MX, most of the compromises will be MX. I don't expect high performance, but I at least don't want the bike bottoming out and breaking.
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  6. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    If I could only own one bike it would be a 350XC-F or the FX350. It really is a do all bike. I have a 350 SX-F and a 300XC, My best friend and main riding buddy has a FX350. His FX isn't as good for MX as my SX and his FX isn't as good at single track as my XC but the reverse is true. His FX is much better at single track than my SX-F and his FX is much better on the MX track than my XC.

    The XC-F/FX really shines as a cross country racer, go figure that's what it's built for, but it has the DNA of a MX bike with a bigger tank, different trans, and softer suspension.

    ewe tis wrong.

    I can single track and do gnarly stuff on my 350 SX-F but it takes a lot of work and for it to be remotely decent I have to push it very hard. Don't get a MX bike if you want it to be decent on double and single track.

    You can do mild mx with a XCW but it is a very limiting bike unless you have a lot of skill.

    Also from what you are looking at I would avoid the XCW bikes in favor of the TE equivalents because of the linkage rear suspension. PDS is great for trails gnarly stuff and log hopping but isn't so hot for whoops and jumps.
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  7. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    Another consideration is the YZ250FX. It's really great machine that just about anyone can ride well. The power is super usable from mild to wild, the suspension is superb, and ergos are great for me. It can do moto and trails pretty darn well. The only down sides are cable clutch and weight.
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  8. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the post. I'm leaning towards the XC/XC-F because most of the riding will be on trails and I don't expect to win any trophies. About what intervals are needed for an XC-F top-end while not racing? I think I can handle a 2T top-end, but not 4T. If the 2T and 4T intervals are similar, then I'll rather have 2T, but if the 4T top-end can last near forever with gentle riding and correct care, then I'll rather have the XC-F. I don't want to abuse a $10k bike.
    Maybe the TE300i does all I want if the air-forks aren't (very) necessary for MX? Like you said, similar to the XC-W, but with the linkage rear.
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  9. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!! Supporter

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    Another vote for XC and Husky equiv
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  10. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    I don't know how long you could stretch a 350XC-F piston but I bet with just moderate trail riding and beginner level MX probably over 400?... My buddy who almost never races or abuses his bike got 212 hours out of a 300 piston. My other friend on a FC450 is closing in on 200 hours but he is near pro level on a track and stupid fast in the desert, his bike feels good as new.

    I ride the piss out of my 350 and regularly abuse it. That rev limiter just sounds so nice! I'm going to change the piston hopefully before 100 hours and don't expect much blow by.

    The TE forks can be made into good MX forks or cross country forks from your local tuner but they are pretty soft stock.
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  11. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    @ renogeorge
    Do you think the TE300i is more like the KTM XC with linkage rear or the XC-W with the lights?

    @ alvincullumyork
    Since the 2T and 4T seem to have similar top-end intervals, I'll lean towards the 2T.
    EDIT: I mean 200-400 hours vs 200-1000 hours.
    Maybe a tuner can find an MX/trails balance with the TE forks. If there is a way I can do minor adjustments (comp/rebound) to the forks, to switch between MX and trails, after major tuning (new springs) are done, then I'll likely get the TE300i.

    Thanks for the help!
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  12. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    The problem with a compromise bike it won't do anything really well. Like a 50/50 tire, not good in the dirt and not good on a hard surface, yah it will do both but not great either one.
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  13. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    I should have added, the KTM would be closest to what you want.
    My brother-in-law and nephew used them on our Continental divide trail ride, much better then the Honda 250 Rally I used.
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  14. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    The 4t will go much longer under the conditions you are describing. Also the 4t will be much easier to ride on the track.

    I agree. but if you have realistic expectations you can find a balance. For beginner mx a XC-F and FX 350 is more than enough and actually pretty good. I would say the only that for a beginner it wouldn't even be a limiting factor. On the other end of the spectrum it would be pretty tough to run it in a hard enduro but not that hard. Everything in between it's going to be awesome at.

    I run Open A off road and the only the only practical reasons I don't have a 350XC-F is for dead engine starts and hard enduro. Impractically the 300 is just plain fun to ride.
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  15. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    Those are EXCs, very different from a XC or FX. Great machines but different nonetheless.
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  16. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    I'm not that familiar with KTM's and models available. The only bad thing I saw with these two was the oil change every 600 miles.
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  17. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    The 600 mi oil change is common for dirt-bike engines. The good news (I read) is if you are not racing and using a good synthetic, oil change intervals can be > 1000 miles based on oil sample tests. Oil changes are also very fast and easy and don't require an oil pan with an EZ-oil change tool.

    @ alvincullumyork
    I meant 200(2T)-400(4T) -hour VS 200(2T)-1000(4T) hour piston intervals. But if I don't plan on reaching 400 hours until 2+ years later, then the 4T will be easier to maintain.
    With air-forks and multi-link rear, this narrows it down to the XC-F and XC depending on how much riding done each year.
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  18. radmann10

    radmann10 Old fart Supporter

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    Read RTWPauls Ktm 500EXC build and read Aarons RR and then forget the worries about the KTM 500. I suggest any KTM 500 2012 and later with EFI and a nice KTM 300 TPI and you will be good to go anywhere anytime!

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/a-world-of-dirt-on-a-500exc.1377398/page-60#post-42441514

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-zealand-rtw-and-back-on-a-ktm500exc.1181912/
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  19. enewmen

    enewmen Been here awhile

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    @ radmann10 & swamper
    Yes, the 500EXC easily outperforms other dual-sport bikes with street engines like the CRF300L or Kawasaki klx230. I will likely get a 500EXC.

    My concern is the front suspension. I read in a few places, the WP XPLOR on the KTM/Husky just can't do MX because of the valving and other reasons, even with stiffer springs. This removes bikes like the TE 300i and KTM XC-W.
    #19
  20. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    They can they just aren't that good for it. Also if you are looking at a 500EXC I would lean toward the FE501 for the linkage.
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